How old are these bucks?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHow Old Is This Buck?
Hi – I want to say I am a huge fan of your show. Particularly because of the faith/values you portray and how your shows are not all about “slaying” the deer with the most bone on his head. Also, I “not-so-secretly” want your job! We can trade if you like and you can design ships while I walk the woods for you.

I have learned some about aging deer on the hoof from watching your shows. Last year I harvested a 10pt that was probably only about 2.5-3yrs old in our South Alabama rut (Feb. 6th) and it was my first big buck (photo 0090). Now I am looking at the bucks differently. More selectively, and I guess even more respectfully.

For my question, I have these two larger bucks showing up on my trail camera and I can’t quite decide whether they are 3 or 4 years old. The 10 point (photos 9162 & 9156) I am thinking is 3 years old. The 8 point (photos 8880, 8895 & 9183) and I am thinking is 4 years old because of his massive pot belly. What age do you think these two guys are? Am I close?

I try to keep in mind this is South Alabama and they are “trophies” for our area NOW but I want to be a good steward of the wildlife God has blessed us to be around.

Thanks in advance,



First off, congrats on the harvest! That is a great buck no matter what part of the country you are in! 

Aging deer on the hoof is a great skill to develop if you spend a lot of time in the deer woods. 

After looking over these pictures I believe you are absolutely correct in aging the 10 pointer. He is a great looking buck with defined characteristics that clearly show signs of a three and a half year old. As for the 8 pointer, he has very large pot belly, however his neck and shoulders do not melt together as one. There is a clear distinction between the two, this will change and develop as he matures. I believe he is three and half years old as well. These are both great bucks, I would be excited to have them on my property. 

Thanks for posting! 

Growing deer together,